It was a two-man show from the beginning as LeBron and Dwyane Wade shot 12 of the team's first 13 shots. Stepping in for Chris Bosh, LeBron thrived in his cameo as a screening Karl Malone. There's no doubt: Something about the Rose Garden brings the absolute best out of LeBron.
Wade played like a man possessed in the second quarter. Step-backs, post-ups, finger-rolls, Euro-steps ... you name it, he did it. Wade didn't step off the gas until the Blazers surrendered. The music that he made with LeBron was a sweet melody for Heat fans.
Chris Bosh is out for two games due to a death in the family. Shane Battier replaced him in the starting lineup.
With Bosh sidelined, Erik Spoelstra gave Shane Battier the nod for the starting gig but that might have lit a fire under Haslem. He came out gobbling up boards like they were going out of style. This is why the Heat gave him a five-year deal; starter's production whenever they need it.
That got out of hand quickly. The Heat were off for a week and it looked like the Blazers might take advantage with LaMarcus Aldridge underneath. Then the Heat clamped down and the Blazers couldn't combat the LeBron-Wade assault. The Blazers got embarrassed on their home court, something the Heat have made a habit of doing to their opponents recently.